Sunday Dinners

We never went out to eat after church on Sundays, as many did. We rushed home so that my mother could cook dinner.

First of all, though, we need to get terms for meals straightened out. Breakfast is always breakfast, unless it’s a late brunch (breakfast/lunch). Dinner is the big meal of the day, whether at noon or evening. If the big meal is in the evening, it’s dinner and the noon meal is lunch. If dinner is at noon, the evening meal is supper. My mother called a late lunch/early supper, “lupper”. Daddy and I laughed at that.

Back to our Sunday dinners…. The meat was most always a pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions cooked in the pressure cooker. That thing scared me to death! If mother was busy in the kitchen, she would tell me to put the top on the hole thing where steam was hissing and escaping at an alarming rate. I despised having to do that. Visions of my head splattered on the kitchen ceiling didn’t help. Then the heat of that eye of the stove was turned down. As well as I can remember, the top (or whatever it’s called) only blew off twice. Fortunately I wasn’t present either time, but I do remember that Daddy had to paint the ceiling in that spot the next weekend.

Mama was smart. The meat and vegetables cooked together, so that the meal was done in one pot. Oh, except for homemade biscuits and dessert (if we had one)!  About the only time we had dessert was at Sunday dinner. It was special if we had one. Daddy’s favorite was blackberry cobbler, but often we just had Jello pudding – vanilla. Other Sunday desserts I remember were Ambrosia, pear and cheese, …. maybe apple pie or pound cake. Desserts on weeknights were unheard of. So I grew up without much of a sweet tooth, and still don’t have one. Mama told me that when I was a toddler, they kept candy out in a pretty dish on the coffee table for guests. I never touched the stuff!

During football season, Mama had to serve Sunday dinner to coincide with half- time. Daddy and I loved watching football together, so I learned the rules and strategy as well as any of the neighborhood boys.

My maternal grandmother lived with us, so she enjoyed Sunday dinner as much as any of us. She sat in the kitchen to keep Mama company while Mama cooked. They talked about shared memories and our family’s history. Wandering in and out of the kitchen at those times, I caught enough of the repeated stories to finally become interested enough to begin to ask questions.

But that’s a topic for another blog.